How to Become an Athletic Trainer

To become an Athletic Trainer must be able to recognize, assess, and treat injuries on the spot.

To become an athletic trainer typically works with athletes and sports teams to help prevent and treat sports-related injuries. The average salary of an athletic trainer is $42,000 a year. To discover if this career is for you, take one of our quizzes.

Athletic Trainer Salary

  • Average Salary: $42,670
  • Expected Lifetime Earnings: $1,842,000

Athletic Trainer – Education

If you want to be an athletic trainer, you first need to earn your high school or GED test diploma. Then you must at least get hold of a bachelor’s degree in a health and fitness-related field, and most states require athletic trainers to hold need a license or further certification, but regulations and required certification vary by state. So athletic trainers need to have a bachelor’s degree issued by an accredited university or college, though in this profession, holding a master’s degree is pretty common. Want to discover if this field is for you? Just take our career quiz.

Both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs include health-related and science courses, for example anatomy, biology, physiology, and nutrition-related courses, in both classroom and clinical settings. Athletic trainer programs are accredited by the CAATE (The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education), and this organization also reviews and accredits CE (Continuing Education) and residency programs.

In practically all states, athletic trainers need to be state-licensed or certified, though requirements are varying by state, and most states use the standard certification exam from the independent BOC (The Board of Certification, Inc.) for the licensure of athletic trainers. In order to receive certification, athletic trainers must have graduated from a properly (CAATE) accredited program, and have passed the BOC exam. To be able to remain certified, they are required to meet all BOC Standards of Practice and Disciplinary Process, and frequently attend a continuing education course.

Athletic Trainers – What Do They Do

Athletic trainers are specialized to prevent, diagnose, and treat bone and muscle illnesses and injuries. They are using injury-preventive and proactive devices such as bandages, braces, or tape. They are trained to recognize and evaluate (often sport-related) injuries, and are providing first aid or, when required, emergency care. Athletic trainers typically not only develop rehabilitation training programs for individual athletes, they also will be developing and implementing extensive training programs in order to prevent illnesses and injury among athletes. They additionally have to perform several administrative tasks, for example keeping records of an athlete’s progress, or writing reports on treatment programs or injuries. Not every one will be a successful athletic trainer.

Athletic trainers typically will be working with individuals and/or groups people of all sorts of skills levels and ages, from young children, to the elderly, and from soldiers to professional athletes. Frequently, athletic trainers are among the first healthcare providers when injuries have occurred, and they usually are working under the supervision and direction of licensed physicians. They often work together with other healthcare specialists to discuss certainjuries and/or treatment options, and they will take care of patients in accordance with a physician’s directives.

There are quite a few athletic trainers that are working for sports organizations and therefore meet with team physicians on a regular basis. Athletic trainers are also often required to meet with athletic directors regularly, in order to establish or discuss budgets, to implement specific policies, or to discuss some other business-related issue. Athletic trainers should not be confused with personal, or fitness trainers and instructors.

Where do Athletic Trainers work?

The majority of athletic trainers are working in educational facilities, for example colleges universities, or secondary schools. Other athletic trainers are working  for sports teams or at physicians’ offices, while others can be found at rehabilitation and therapeutic clinics, with performing artists, or in the military. Usually, they will spend a lot of their time working in the open on various sports fields, regardless of weather conditions.

Job outlook and income potential

There are about 23,000 professional athletic trainers in the U.S. and some 25 percents in are full-time employed at universities, colleges, high schools, or professional teams, while some 15 percent worked in a doctor’s office or practice. Around 12 percent are working at hospitals, and the same number can be found at professional or recreational sports and fitness centers.

Over the next decade, the employment options of athletic trainers is expected to increase by some 20 percent, and this is above professional average. Most job growth can be sen at colleges, universities, and sports leagues, as there is a growing awareness of sports-related illnesses and injuries at a younger age. In 2013, the average yearly earnings for athletic trainers was around $42,670, though huge difference could be seen depending on experience, educational level, setting, and regional influences.

 

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